If the first thing on your to-do list every week is to get more done, try following this easy 10-step plan to boosting your productivity:
1. Prepare. Schedule as much as you can—from when to get up in the morning to attending meetings, answering emails, taking exercise breaks and, finally, when to stop working.
2. Start the day right. Before you hit the ground running on Monday morning, begin the day with five to 10 minutes of setting positive intentions.
3. Work on big projects first. Most bigger projects require more energy, so it probably makes sense to work on them in the morning when you have more energy.
Read on for seven more tips on how to boost your workweek productivity.
"Research done at the USC Center for Effective Organizations found that 82 percent of business leaders aren’t working at their ideal energy levels,” writes small-business consultant Rieva Lesonsky. “Sixty-one percent felt they were working below their best energy level, while 21 percent felt they were working above their ideal energy level.”
This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to manage your energy levels so you’re most effective is to leave well enough alone, Lesonsky writes:
Once you know your natural energy rhythms, try to honor them. If you experience a 3 p.m. slump every day, for example, trying to power through it will do more harm than good. You won’t be working efficiently, your results will be poor, and you’ll drain even more energy from your mind and body. Instead, during a slump time, try taking a quick walk, doing stretches in your office or even taking a power nap for 10 to 20 minutes.
Read on for six more ways to stay productive throughout your day.
If you’ve got a few bad habits you’d like to break—and want to inspire your employees to do the same—follow these 6 steps for personal success.
Step 1: Understand how habits form.
Step 2: Know exactly why the new way is superior to the old way.
Step 3: Expect that your body will not want to change.
Step 4: Set trigger goals.
Step 5: Set improvement goals.
Step 6: Script your setbacks.
Learn how to implement these habit-breaking steps on OPEN Forum.
It’s definitely not Monday, according to business owners and experts who spoke to OPEN Forum.
Tuesday mornings. It lets people get over their case of the Mondays, while still having enough time to plot out the week.
Read more on the best (and worst) times to have a meeting on OPEN Forum.
Seriously. It did for us, anyway:
Scrap your “to-do” list. Instead, move those tasks to your calendar by scheduling short blocks of time to focus on them. This creates a more realistic view of your available time and will also help track how you are actually spending your days.
Read on for 18 more so-simple-why-didn’t-I-think-of-it productivity hacks on OPEN Forum.
Feeling the midday slump? Get out of the office and bring your laptop to a coffee shop! The right level of distraction is actually good for you:
When you need nose-down concentration, it might not sound efficient to head to a coffee shop, but studies show that the noise provided by most coffee spots give your brain the right amount of productivity boost it needs. One study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, for instance, found that a small level of distraction (in this case, a coffee shop’s ambient background noise of 70 decibels) was just the right formula for heightened focus and creativity.
Read more of our great tips for boosting your brain power on OPEN Forum.
It’s quite productive, actually, according to new studies:
When your brain is tired, you take in distractions that you would normally ignore because your mind is too drowsy and disorganized to fight the invasion. Your tired brain struggles to focus on one thing at a time, so you wander, gather loads of irrelevant information, and connect those random pieces together, which can result in offbeat solutions or innovative products and ideas.
From OPEN Forum’s “Why Being Bored and Tired Can Improve Your Creativity”
…As it turns out, workaholics are the least-efficient workers. If you’re working a 12-hour day, then you don’t have to be efficient. You’ve got all day—or all night if necessary—to get your work accomplished. With no sense of urgency, you’re free to fritter your time away on office pools, Internet “research” and Facebook.
Learn how to become a more productive worker—and get out of the busy trap—on OPEN Forum.